The 20 Mistakes Brides Always Make




Photo by Honeybee Weddings


Any bride who has spent just one afternoon wedding planning knows it takes an insane amount of organization and soooo many decisions to make. There are dozens of decisions, creating a budget that’ll actually help you, and layout out a well-planned timeline is so vital. Since this likely is the first time you’re getting married, let alone organizing such a large-scale event, it’s easier than you think to make some simple mistakes.

But where do you even begin? The most important sure fire thing to start with is a solid budget. Once that budget is established, you can make smart decisions about which vendors will work best for you. It’s not the easiest decisions to have, but it’s definitely one you should have early.

Still, even with the most well planned bride can be steered off track, and you don’t want to make mistakes that other brides have. As you pin on your Pinterest board late into the night, try on wedding gowns, choose invitations, sample cakes (obviously the best part!), think about our list of the 20 major mistakes brides make.

YOU DON’T PUT YOURSELF FIRST

Before you go too wild into Pinterest or magazines, take some time to really think about the celebration you want. Do you want a black-tie affair, or more of a casual party? An elopement even? It’s totally allowed! Put down a list of priorities about what’s most important to you. Are you a foodie or is music your thing? This kind of pre-planning will make selecting a venue and even the budget much easier.




Photo by Honeybee Weddings


2. YOU DON’T CONSIDER YOUR GUESTS

If your friends and family are from out of town, or because it’s Montana and venues are far away from everything… they will likely travel to attend your wedding, so make sure they are comfortable. Transportation to and from the ceremony and reception is a must, and stock their hotel rooms with basics like drinks and snacks. It’s also a really cute time to give them gift baskets filled with your favorite details. If your wedding is a weekend-long destination affair, arrange group activities both the night before the wedding and the morning of, time permitting.




Photo by Erin Kunkel


3. YOU BUY YOUR WEDDING DRESS BEFORE CHOOSING THE VENUE

It’s only natural to get completely too excited to function and choose your wedding dress before you choose your venue. it’s important to know more about your venue so you know whether you should look for that huge A-Line ballgown of princesses or a more low key dress you can run around in the mountains with.

4. YOU RULE OUT A WEDDING PLANNER ALTOGETHER

The most stressful planning period? The week before the big day. That’s when handfuls of unforeseen details arise, leaving some brides sorting out spreadsheets instead of connecting with friends and family. Avoid this by hiring a week of or even day of planner. It’s more like “month-of” coordinating with us – we straighten out timelines, confirmations, final payments, etc. All that boring Type-A stuff we love. They will handle last-minute vendor meetings and put out fires so you don’t have to.




Photo by Honeybee Weddings

Planning & Design: Honeybee Weddings


5. YOU FALL VICTIM TO CRASH DIETING

Girl, you are beautiful just the way you are. And your future husband clearly agrees! No bride should ever feel they have to change themselves ahead of their wedding. BUT if you want to adopt healthier habits because YOLO… instead of drastically reducing calories or abstaining from entire food groups (why is bread always the first thing to go?!), ease into it. You could try a healthier eating plan or hustling at the gym six months before the big day. Focus on confidence, stress-relieving exercises, and healthy habits that you can hang on to for your whole life even after your wedding day.

6. YOU DON’T FEED YOUR VENDORS

The last thing you want on your wedding day is a low-energy DJ exhausted photographers. Hangry doesn’t look well on anyone, so plan on feeding anyone you’ve hired who will be working during the reception. This includes your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, and DJ or band, plus their assistants (but not your florist or the ceremony musicians). Work their meals into your budget and consider it part of their fee. (Many vendors stipulate in the contract that the couple is to provide a meal.)

7. YOU ELOPE WITHOUT THINKING IT THROUGH

Thinking about running away to a National Park to elope on a mountain? Don’t forget to hit up your local city hall first. Make sure you check off all of your legal “to-dos” before jetting off. You’ll also want to contact the specific National Park office for rules and permits. We all want to protect nature, and the (usually cheap) permit will help with that. Your photographer/planner should know the rules and help with location.

8. THEY YOU DOWNPLAY YOUR ELOPEMENT

Just because you are eloping doesn’t mean your day isn’t SPECIAL. It’s still your wedding and there is a reason to be excited and celebrate. Hire a videographer who will make a highlight reel of your elopement experience with your vows (if you’re into that sort of thing). You can then throw a local reception with everyone and share your video for them so they can be involved. Get a special dress, get a bouquet, you could even set up a cute little table with your dream centerpiece and a bottle of champagne. You can still have the adorable wedding traditions even if you elope.

9. YOU DON’T SAY HELLO TO EVERYONE

These days, most couples forgo the formal post-ceremony receiving line. Instead, make it a point to circulate among the reception tables after dinner. If you have a large guest list, schedule the table greetings into the day-of timeline and make an effort to find something sincere and personal to say to each guest. Another idea is to hand-deliver your wedding favors as you make your table rounds, since it’s the perfect way to catch everyone.




Photo by Honeybee Weddings


10. YOU SET PREDICTABLE TABLES

Chances are, you and your guests have attended countless weddings with uniform round tables topped by a single floral arrangement. Add some personality by changing it up. The room (and thus, the experience) is more interesting when each table is a little different. Try experimenting with different table shape, alternating round, square, farm tables, linens, all that jazz. Then mix large vases with small groupings of greenery or bud vases with a single bloom.




Photo by Honeybee Weddings

Planning & Design by Honeybee Weddings


11. YOU FORGET THE POWER OF PAPER

Yes, we all love instagram, facebook, and the ease of digital invitations. BUT physical invitations and thoughtful handwritten thank you notes will never go out of style. Enjoy the process of designing them with a talented stationer or editing them yourself with pre-made styles.

12. YOU DON’T THINK BEYOND “PER HEAD”

Couples often build their budget around a per-head price, forgetting all the fun extras – flowers, band, photographer – that aren’t included in most venue cost. Sure, these extras can often double the price per head, sending couples way over budget. Instead, think in terms of a fixed total and divvy each element by a percentage of that amount. Set up a wedding budget tool to help you make decisions.




Photo by Kir2Ben


13. YOU DON’T DO YOUR FLORAL RESEARCH

Read up on flower costs, temperament, and season before you select your arrangements. The peonies you love may be the most expensive little item if you’re getting married when they are not in season (spring is the peony season by the way, lovelies). Some flowers are also tender little beauties. Lilacs, gardenias, lilies of the valley, and hydrangeas may wilt in the hot summer sun. Don’t put perfume-y flowers like lilies on the tables, since they can overpower the food. If you must have them, carry them in your bouquet.

14. YOU THINK YOU (OR YOUR MOM) ARE A PROFESSIONAL CAKE BAKER

While asking your mom to make your favorite dishes or baking 50 pies yourself the week of the wedding might seem like a way to personalize the day and save money, the menu is really best left to a caterer. A professional will know how to properly estimate the amount of food to buy, how to prepare a meal on a large scale, when to serve different courses, and how to accommodate guests with dietary needs or restrictions. Plus, we ain’t got no time for the freakout that’s about to happen the week of the wedding when Momma has to be in the kitchen for days on end…




Photo by Alexes Lauren Photography


15. YOU OVER SCHEDULE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS

While a detailed list of the day’s events and itinerary are super important (plus a who’s who for family photos), if you’re micromanaging your photographers, then they probably aren’t capturing the candid moments that are so special for your wedding album. Instead, once you’ve provided your photog with theses basics, give them the leeway to capture the best shots without having to check on a list throughout the day. Your photographer can help you with your wedding photography timeline.

16. YOU GET DIY HAPPY

Tempted to cut your budget by playing florist and photographer? Think again. Tackling your own flowers means you’ll be buying and arranging your stems the morning of your wedding, then delivering them to your venue when you should be relaxing with family. And while your cousin may have thousands of Instagram followers, she’s unlikely to capture the lighting, get an assortment of candids, or anticipate the day’s flow the way a professional photographer would.




Photo by Honeybee Weddings


17. YOU CAN’T LET GO OF THE LITTLE THINGS

Let’s get real for a minute. The only (repeat only) reason you are getting married is to celebrate your love story with your dearest family and friends. Spoiler alert – things will go wrong with your wedding. They just will and that’s fine. The key is to let them happen and enjoy the day. Once your venue is determined, vendors are selected, and the guest list is finalized, it’s happening. The celebration is under way. If you can ask yourselves, “Did our guests have a good time?” and the answer is heck yes, then chances are you had a great wedding.

18. YOU FORGET TO EAT

Girl, you absolutely 100% can NOT forget to eat throughout the day. It’s shockingly one of the most missed details of wedding day planning and it’s one of the most essential. Snacks, water, mimosas… plan for it. It’s important to pre-arrange more than just nibbles for your entire crew—especially if you aren’t primping in your own home. You’ll want enough sustenance so you’re not feeling lightheaded or faint during the ceremony.




Photo by Honeybee Weddings


19. YOU FORGET TO SET PARENTAL BOUNDARIES

Don’t get me wrong, parents are the BEST and want only the best for their kid’s wedding. Most brides do experience some conflict with parents or future in-laws during the planning process though. It’s obviously not an easy conversation to have, but the earlier you get down to it, the better. Make time to talk to them in person. Be sure to thank them for all of the super nice things they are doing for you. Follow with a frank explanation about what’s been bothering you. It’s ok to be firm, but not angry – vent with a friend before you let it all out.




Photo by Honeybee Weddings


20. YOU FORGET TO HAVE FUN!

Don’t forget the reason you’re doing all of this, and keep things in perspective. It’s all about starting your new life together, so make sure to set up the right foundation for a joyous future. Remember, it’s just one day in the journey.

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